NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Voters’ views of Tuesday’s U.S. Senate election in Louisiana, according to final results of exit polling conducted for The Associated Press and television networks. Three of the eight candidates were considered major and invited to debates: Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu and Republicans Bill Cassidy and Rob Maness, who was backed by the tea party.
There will be a runoff on Dec. 6 between Landrieu and Cassidy. Fifty-one percent of voters responding to Tuesday’s exit poll said they would vote for Cassidy in a runoff between the two, 43 percent said they’d vote for for Landrieu and 4 percent said they would not vote in a runoff.
With four issues to choose from, Louisiana’s voters were fairly evenly split between the economy and health care as most important, with 38 percent saying health care and 36 percent the economy. Landrieu voters made up 57 percent of those who gave health care the top spot. Those who chose the economy split between Cassidy and Landrieu, with about 45 percent supporting the challenger and 42 percent the incumbent. Illegal immigration was named by 14 percent and foreign policy by 8 percent.
About seven in 10 Louisiana voters feel the national economy is not too good or poor, and four in 10 feel it’s getting worse. Cassidy got about half of those voters who feel the economy isn’t in good shape and about six in 10 of those who feel it’s deteriorating.
Fifty-six percent of Louisiana voters say they believe the 2010 federal health care law went too far. Cassidy got six in 10 of them.
LANDRIEU AND OBAMA
Cassidy and Maness hammered at Landrieu as being too close to President Barak Obama, voting with him 97 percent of the time. Nearly six in 10 of Louisiana’s voters said Landrieu votes with Obama too often. About one-fifth of those people voted for Maness and nearly seven in 10 of them for Cassidy.
Forty-nine percent of Louisiana’s voters strongly disapprove of the way President Barak Obama is doing his job, and another 10 percent somewhat disapprove. Sixty-two percent of those who strongly disapprove of the president’s work voted for Cassidy. Landrieu got the votes of about nine-tenths of voters who think Obama is doing a fine job or at least approve somewhat of what he has done as president.
One-third of Louisiana’s voters described themselves as angry at the Obama administration and 30 percent said they were dissatisfied with it. Sixty-four percent of those angry or dissatisfied voters pushed the ballot button for Cassidy and 23 percent for Maness.
Seventeen percent of Louisiana’s voters said they were angry at Republican leaders in Congress, and another 33 percent said they were dissatisfied. Landrieu got votes from 79 percent of the angry voters and 53 percent of those who said the word “dissatisfied” better fit their feelings.
Sixty-four percent of the voters were white, and Cassidy got 59 percent of those voters. Nineteen percent of white voters chose Maness and 18 percent Landrieu. Landrieu got 94 percent of the vote among African-Americans, who made up 30 percent of the total. The Census Bureau estimates that 32.4 percent of Louisiana residents are black.
About seven in 10 Louisiana voters do not think Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal would make a good president.
The exit poll of 2,444 Louisiana voters was conducted for AP and the television networks by Edison Research in a random sample of 40 precincts statewide. Results were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points; it is higher for subgroups.
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